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About SheikhOnDeRun

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  1. This is an excerpt from one of Ibrahim Dewla’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. Whatever undesirable circumstance, it’s not there to degrade a human being. Rather an undesirable circumstance is test from Allah. Allah will place an undesirable circumstance to see how much patience one will exhibit & steadfast one will be. Thus, don’t be frightened that my circumstances have become difficult. Because the devil comes in these circumstances & makes a human hopeless. “Your circumstances never improved despite how long you have been practicing. How long you have been supplicating, praying, (its inconsequential) nothing has happened.” to make human despair from Allah. In our faith hopelessness is disbelief. Not in any circumstance should a human being not be hopeful of Allah. Sometimes Allah delays what you are seeking. Allah’s name/attribute is ‘Jabbar’. Jabbar means almighty. Jabbar also means someone who rehabilitates broken bones. Allah is rehabilitator of broken circumstances. Allah possesses both names and ability. What is unique about Allah is not only does he possesses names/attributes but Allah is also able. False deities/partners (to Allah) have many names/attributes but they are unable/powerless. They are only namesake. Our Allah has name, is able with his greatness. Through work of Prophets Allah reveals his greatness. This is why circumstances of Prophets are trying. Then Allah rectifies those circumstances. So that they know the rectifier is Allah. Reflect on this! Prophet (saw) ‘s parents died. From onset, circumstances were difficult he (saw) never seen his father. Because before his (saw) birth father departed. He (saw) saw his mother only for 6 years. On return trip from Madinah mother passed away. Grandfather was present who loved Prophet (saw) dearly. When he (saw) age was 8 yrs old he passed away. Prophet (saw) said that he was 8 yrs old while he walking underneath funeral procession of his grandfather. Then his uncle raised him. Uncle was not affluent. In terms of wealth the family was modest. So Prophet (saw) said he worked as goatherder for wages. Qirat was currency during that time in Makkah. He (saw) said for goat herding I would be given few qirat from people in Makkah. Since very beginning circumstances were difficult. Upon Prophethood further difficulties came. And in all those circumstances Allah protected Prophet (saw). These are lives of Prophets. Their circumstances were broken but they were steadfast on their mission. Then Allah rectified their circumstances. So the Prophet (saw)’s life is an example for people. https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/category/ibrahim-dewla/
  2. This is an excerpt from one of Ahmed Laat’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. Allah has given you this profession & service you render. Sometimes I tease. Your position is such if a chief politician comes you can instruct him. “Take long breath!’ ‘Hold it!’ and he has to hold it “Sit down!” “I will take blood pressure only if you are standing.” Allah has given you that authority. You are master of your science. And you can gain in hereafter as well. We had neighbour who was doctor. He had duty twice a day at nursing home morning & evening. One day I asked you go to work what intention do you make? He replied “what is need for intention? Its my job”. I told him these are the joys of Muslim. I told him what is it that you do at the ward. You go the rounds go to the patient stand for couple of minutes. “Are you good?” “Did you sleep well?” “Did you eat?” small talk. “I have seen your report its good.” Asking all of this doesn’t take that long. What is visiting the sick? To be concerned about well being and condition of the patient. Thus, you are visiting the sick. How many patients are there in the ward? In hadith Prophet (saw) said “There is no Muslim who visits a (sick) Muslim early in the morning but 70,000 angels send blessings upon him until evening comes, and if he visits him in the evening, 70,000 angels send blessings upon him until morning comes, and he will have a garden in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi) For each patient, you receive 140,000 prayers. He met me after couple of days. “Sheikh! What advice you gave me! Each time I go to nursing home I begin with the intention of visiting the sick.” https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/scholar-counsels-doctor-ahmad-laat/
  3. Life’s Mirage Umar Palanpuri

    This is an excerpt from one of Umar Palanpuri’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. One path is straight which is based on revelation. Exertion is in it because benefits of it are unseen. Other path is crooked. What is cohering in it is the benefits of it can be seen. Path of Authority and possessions one can visually see its benefits. While faith & good actions one cannot see its benefits. One perceives success in authority & possessions but success is not there. While faith & good actions, success is concealed but its there. The perception of ‘success’ in authority and possessions is like an example of a thirsty man who from distance sees water. Overjoyed he exclaims water! When he gets to his destination, there is no water rather it was a shimmering mirage. In arabic its called ‘sarab’. He exclaims “Oh this turned out to be a mirage”. After which again he sees water in further distance, he continues ahead chanting water, water, water encouraging himself to continue walking. So he reaches there and to his dismay its shimmering mirage. Path of authority and possessions is as such. One perceives there to be success but its not there. However much authority and possessions he has, he doesn’t perceive that as success. Rather his perception of success is always to look ahead. Once he has reached that station he no longer perceives success in it rather he looks ahead. Similar to man who possesses million pounds he doesn’t perceive that as success. A billion pounds that are in pockets of others he views that as success, a shimmering mirage! He pursues it whether through permissible or impermissible means and finally possesses billion pounds. After which he no longer views billion pounds as success rather he views trillion pounds as success. But in his pursuit to amass more meets death. All the designs of this world are like mirage. All forms of misguidance of the past were as such. Authority, possessions, wealth, money, gold, silver, trade, position, status its perceived there is success in it but success is not in it. Its similitude is of shimmering mirage. “their deeds are like a mirage in a desert plain, which a thirsty person deems to be water, until when he comes to it, he finds it nothing, and finds (the decree of) Allah with him, so He pays him his account in full. Allah is swift at reckoning.” (24:39) https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/05/15/lifes-mirage-umar-palanpuri/
  4. Don’t stress yourself Part 3

    This is an excerpt from one of Tariq Masood’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. One man he lost his children. He got divorced and his wife took the children. The event left him grief stricken. He was severely depressed. Off course he longs for his children. I advised him take legal action and go to court. He said going to court is not going to help. I suggested several other alternatives. He said he already tried all of them & wasn’t successful. Then I told him let it go & put it behind you. (5) What is not within your control, to grieve over it is foolish. And get married and have another family. When you will have other children, your focus will shift. He said people will taunt me I forgot my previous children. I told him people have lot of time to waste & will continue to taunt you. Ignore them. What is not in your control what is the benefit to keep examining it! This is great lesson. What is not in your control let go of thinking over it. Throughout his life, Nuh (as) tried to guide his son but he turned out to be disbeliever. In last moment, one can imagine what love & compassion Nuh (as) had while asking his son to board his ship. “O my son, come aboard with us” (11:42) “He said, I shall take shelter on a mountain which will save me from the water.” (11:43) A Prophet has intense love for his children. Similar to how Yaqub (as) had for his son (Yusuf). What pain Nuh (as) must have experienced but his son never changed. “And the waves rose high between the two, and he was among those who were drowned.” (11:43) Nuh (as) supplicated to Allah “My Lord, indeed my son is of my family; and indeed, Your promise is true” (11:45) Allah replied “O NūH, in fact, he is not a part of your family. Indeed, he is (a man of) bad deeds. So do not ask Me something of which you have no knowledge. “(11:46) Its not that Nuh (as) fell in despair “Oh what has happened with me” or start thinking “why did this happen”. Immediately Nuh (as) prayed “My Lord, I seek refuge with You that I should ask You something of which I have no knowledge. (11:47) Its not that he(as) started wailing in pain. What is not in your control relinquish it! We take lot of stress on those things that are not within our control. https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/dont-stress-yourself-part-3/
  5. Don’t stress yourself Part 1

    This is an excerpt from one of Tariq Masood’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. When I say don’t stress yourself, that doesn’t mean one will never get stressed. There is no individual in this world with whom all things are going according to how he planned. No one in this world fulfills all that they desire. This is impossible that whatever you desire it happens. Today person in position of authority then tomorrow comes where they are in jail. This happens. So not all of your desires are going to be fulfilled here. What then is the solution? Should you then fulfill everyone of your desires? That is impossible. Wouldn’t it be better if you compromise? What do you think? (#1) Firstly one should prevent themselves to fall into difficult situation. Don’t put yourself into a predicament. Having (unnecessary) friendships with opposite gender this will increase stress not decrease. This is reality. One is doing drugs, his social activities are with other drug users. Doing drugs will not decrease stress rather increase it. When he is not able to have drugs, wouldn’t this individual not get anxious! You are person with modest means but you choose to live in an affluent area. This will increase stress and make person victim of having inferior complex. Look he has a fancy car while I only possess this. Rather you should have lived in an area where everyone is driving similar car as yourself. I witness people living in an affluent area who live with anxiety. They own mansion and earning millions. Why then are they stressed? Because neighbor is making more. These stresses are not from God rather they are self inflicted. https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/dont-stress-yourself-part-1/
  6. Don’t Despair Ibrahim Dewla

    This is an excerpt from one of Ibrahim Dewla’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. No one should despair from Allah. No one should complain. People who make effort for this faith should have good opinion of Allah. My Allah is doing good for me. My Allah has provided me in an excellent manner. And Allah will continue to do good for me. Allah will continue to create ease in my circumstances. Allah will continue to facilitate me. Allah will accept me. This is necessary! Its one of the etiquettes. Jabir (rad) said: Three days before he died, I heard Prophet (saw) say: None of you should die except while he is having good thoughts about Allah. (Muslim) My Allah will deal with me with good circumstances. My Allah will assist me. My Allah will make me successful. How your opinion is will dictate how Allah deals with you. It’s in hadith. The Prophet (saw) said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him). (Bukhari) Allah’s grandeur is great. Allah’s rights cannot be fulfilled by anyone. (Due to which) Allah made way out for us. So based on your opinion decisions will be made. How easy it has become? To have good opinion is this really difficult? To have hope in Allah is this difficult? Because Allah’s grandeur is great and his power is immense. Allah’s rights can never be fulfilled by anyone. Allah’s favors on his creation are many. Allah’s blessings are many. This has been explained to you that do the work of this faith with having good opinion of Allah. Reason for this is that in this world circumstances come to man, undesirable circumstances, pain comes, illness come, restrictions come. So man feels anxious and constricted due to difficulties and devil makes this man hopeless. (This occurs) because man is unmindful of Allah’s greatness. What is Allah’s greatness? This is what man is distracted from. Its blessings of propagation of this faith through which Prophets explain greatness of Allah. The Provider to whom you are going, the Provider to whom you are inviting others to, Provider to whom you worship, what is His greatness! Reflect on His greatness so circumstances are alleviated. Prophets in their message explain greatness of Allah comprehensively. And with people they (Prophets) make them hopeful. Don’t be afraid. Do (good) work. Your sustainer is such & such. “then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.” (11:61) https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/04/18/dont-despair-ibrahim-dewla/
  7. Lover’s Prayer

    This is an excerpt from one of Tariq Masood’s speeches. Its translated more or less meaning. Questioner asks to obtain girl I made lots of prayer in latter parts of night. I didn’t have an unlawful relationship. Despite my sincere efforts I wasn’t able to obtain her. But I believe that Allah will provide me someone better. Sheikh replies this happens quite a bit. Truly difficult situation. You prayed all this time despite your efforts in the end you are not able to obtain her. In the Quran Allah says “Or shall man have what he wishes?” (53:24) This is rhetorical question. Answer to which is what man wishes doesn’t happen all the time. Truly whatever prayers you have made in night we hope Allah out of his mercy accepts them. If that individual was not meant for you, you will get someone better. Did I not say we should think positive? Firstly we should have positive opinion of Allah. The Prophet (saw) said, “Allah says: ‘I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him).” Allah forbid that you think Allah intended bad for me because of your perspective it will be bad. Rather have positive thought that whatever happened is for my best. It could be that you got married to her. Rather than being source of happiness she tortures you. Allah will provide you someone better. And it could be that the one you do get married to, she is not better and is torturing you. So one will ask has Allah truly provided me someone better? We have to believe Allah knowledge is perfect and our intellect is deficient. “it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”(2:216) Meaning of having faith is to believe whatever occurring in my life is nothing but good. My other advice or request in late parts of night avail opportunity to pray for forgiveness. Wouldn’t that be better? Focus on obtaining forgiveness of Allah. https://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2021/04/16/lovers-prayer/
  8. Never Complain

    http://vimeo.com/10277526 In the Hands of God http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/never-complain/ (If you have benefited from this, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others)
  9. My Comforting Email

    I have only removed my name and specific details but generally nothing has been deleted from the email. When things were tough, a person I looked up to wrote to me this comforting email 10 years ago: Assalam-o-alaikum, I feel for you. May Allah help you, and He is the best Helper and Redeemer. Seek His mercy and protection, for He is the best Protector. Our lives in this world are very short. One day we all have to move on from this world to a different world. No matter how bad conditions get, one day they will end. If we keep obeying Allah and exercise patience in face of hardships and afflictions, then Allah's promise is that He will reward us in the Aakhirah (here-after). For a muslim, it is a win-win situation. Wether he is happy or sad, he gains. In happiness, through Shukr (grateful), thankfullness to Allah, and in miseries, through Sabr, patience for the sake of Allah. In face of hardships, Prophets and Saints advice people to do Istighfaar (asking forgiveness), tauba (returning to Allah), keep doing it. Like Younus AS kept making dua to Allah, while inside the fish: LA ILAHA ILLA ANTA SUBHANAKA, INNI KUNTU MINAZ ZAALIMEEN. There is no lord beside you, o' Allah, you are glorified. Verily, I am from the opressors. This dua turned Allah's punishment into mercy. He was saved inside the stomach of the fish, then he was delivered without difficulty. Not only this, but the nation he left hopelessly that they will not bring Imaan (faith), Allah guided them. Do not blame others for your hardships. Imaan teaches us that everything is from Allah. All creation put together cannot hard or benefit us in anyway. Whatever is happenning, is from Allah. So always turn towards Allah and humble yourself in front of Him. Seek His help. Turn your attention away from makhlooq, creation. Let the events take their shape, in whatever direction they take. Just quit resistence and relax. Take a deep breath! Let the forces take you in their flow. But do not leave Salat, for nobody could dare stop you from performing it. Do zikr (remembrance) of Allah, for remembering Allah is an act of heart. No power on the earth could have control over your heart. You got the drift, what I am trying to tell you. Now I have full confidence in you, that you will deal with stuff in a mature manner. You have gained this attitude through tough experiences. Like they put gold in the oven to purify, you are purified through these agonies. Like they put iron in the fire to solidify and harden it, you are hardened by these afflictions. Make use of this purity and hardness. Do not harm anybody. Allah will reward you immensely. You will see in your life ahead, the effects of your patience, InshaAllah (God willing). There are those who take revenge, and satisfy their animal instincts, yet there are those who forgive and turn their attention to the real source, Allah, and He elevate their status to great heights. This is the akhlaaq (character) of our Nabi (Prophet)SAS, and his Mubarak (blessed) saying: Join those that run away from you, forgive those who oppress you, give to those that deprive you, do good to those who do bad to you. You like to fly like birds or soar like eagles. We should try to reach higher goals and our goal is Allah, who is the Highest. Our flight should surpass everybody else's. Right?? Allah teaches us in the Qur'an that good and bad cannot be equal. If you return good with bad, then your arch enemy will become your best friend. This is a proven case. This is the rule of Allah. However, Allah says that not everybody could do this, except those that are gifted by Allah with perseverance and patience. Let us go for it, and prove to the world, how Imaan (faith) revolutionize a person, and strip all the base desires and animal instincts from him. Let us follow the footsteps of our noble prophet SAS, who is indeed best model for us and the rest of humanity, until the day of judgement. Remember me in your duas. For dua in time of distress is acceptable. I will make dua for you too. For dua for a muslim brother is also acceptable. your brother, (If you have benefited from this, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others) http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/my-comforting-email/
  10. Looking For God

    Amazing article written by this sister. http://www.yasminmogahed.com/2012/09/05/looking-for-god/ This is a piece I wrote while in the airplane… Looking for God By: Yasmin Mogahed I’ve been looking for God my whole life. I just didn’t know it. When we study those things that we all seek—in life, in a companion, in everything—we’ll find that both the believer and the atheist are actually just seeking God. See, God is the designer. Whether you’re an atheist or a believer, God is the designer of your needs, your affinities, your inclinations. And He has designed these inner drives to fit the natural order: tawheed (to seek, recognize and submit to one single higher power). Think for a moment about what you and I seek. What do you look for in a companion, for example? What are we running after and willing to give anything just to hear? “I’m taking care of you.” “It’s going to be okay.” “I love you. Always. That will never diminish or change.” “You can hold on to me.” “I will never let you down.” “I will never hurt you.” “I will never leave you.” “I will always be there for you.” “I appreciate you.” “I see you.” “I understand you.” “I know who you are.” “I’m close to you.” “I will forgive you.” “You don’t have to be perfect.” “I will never abandon you.” “I will never betray you.” “I got your back.” “I’ll take care of it.” “I’m listening. I’m really listening.” “I’ll never let them hurt you.” “I’ll always protect you.” “I’ll never leave you.” “You are never alone.” “I will never leave you alone.” “When everything around you is falling apart, I’ll hold you up.” “I truly only want what’s best for you.” “Even when you’re messing up, I will still forgive you.” “Even when you’re unable to give, I will always give you.” “Even when you’re fighting me, I’ll still be kind. I still won’t abandon you.” “No matter what you do, I can always forgive you.” “I love you despite your weaknesses and your faults.” “I will give you peace.” “I will make you happy.” “I will give you stability.” “I will give you strength and power.” “I will cure you.” “I will give you status and respect.” “I will always comfort you.” “No matter how tiny the gesture is, if you do it for me, I’ll appreciate and reward you for it.” “If you turn to me, I’ll be there for you, no matter what.” “No matter what you’ve done to me, I can always forgive you.” The truth is, when we thought we were looking for a good husband or a good wife or a good job or a lot of money or a lot of fame, we were really just looking for God. So it’s no wonder that we got disappointed when the husband, the wife, the job, the money or the fame didn’t fill our need—or our emptiness. Even that emptiness itself was created for a purpose: To drive us to fill it. The problem is we try to fill it with the wrong things. Everything inside us was created to enable our journey to find the true fill, to find Him. Ironically even shaytan and the nafs—if reacted to correctly—can become a means to reach Him. Shaytan and the nafs are our enemies. True. But how can we protect ourselves from them? Can the people help? Can money help? Can worldly power or weapons help protect us from our greatest enemies? Where is the *only* shelter from both shaytan and our nafs? The only shelter is in Allah. It’s like sending a storm to push us to the only refuge. To push us to Him (azza wa jal). Even your sins can be used to push you to God. After all, who else can forgive you for them? Where else can you find shelter from the storm and horror of your own sins? Who else can take care of them and erase them and even transform them into good deeds? Your fears can also be a means. When you’re scared, who else can protect you? Who else can give you comfort and safety, when you’re stranded in the middle of an ocean? When you’re poor, who else can provide? When you’re sad, who else can pull you up? When you’re broken, who else can mend your heart and your life? Who else can give life to what’s dead? Who else can cure you? Who else can save you? When you’re lost, who else can guide you? Who else? You thought the storm, the ocean, the fear, the sadness, the mistakes, the loss, the brokenness was all bad for you. But really it was only a means. It was all a vehicle to make you seek Him. To bring you back. To bring you back to completion, to happiness, to life. To bring you back to where you began. To bring you back to all that you really seek. To bring you back to Him. (If you have benefited from this, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others) http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/
  11. Fear/harm/benefit

    Most of us live in fear. I remember as a youth we fear not being accepted. Am I making enough money? Am I accepted in society? Am I accepted by other people? Everyone has their own fear. As youth, we fear our exams. As adults, we fear instability, financial security, relationships. Then, there is concept of benefit. Some believe that if I don’t get involved in these sins (have a girlfriend, party out, drink etc.), I will be missing out in life. If I am not accepted and appreciated by certain people in society, I am a failure. But who really has the power to benefit? This is an excerpt from speech of Tariq Jameel. All the power of this world put together cannot harm you or benefit you. “But they have taken besides Him gods which create nothing, while they are created, and possess not for themselves any harm or benefit and possess not [power to cause] death or life or resurrection. “ (Al Furqan:3) Where we believe there is benefit, our hearts turn towards it. Where we believe there is harm, we give in or submit out of fear. Where there is a matter of life and death, every human being struggles. In the above verse, Allah negates everyone and everything (the whole creation) except Himself to have the ability to cause harm, benefit, death, life and resurrection. None can harm you. None can benefit you. They are not the master of death. They are not the creator of life. They cannot resurrect the dead. So who is it that can do all these? That Lord is Allah (swt). (If you have benefited from this article, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others) http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/
  12. The Good Life Promise

    One is the promise of your intellect. One is the promise of your desires. One is the promise of the devil. One is the promise of your education. One is the promise of wealth. One is the promise of your employer. One is what the ad promised you. One is what society promised you. One is what culture promised you. One is what your boss promised you. One is what your teacher promised you. One is what your people promised you. One is what your parents promised you. One is what your spouse promised you. One is what your friend promised you. One is what he promised you. One is what she promised you. One is what everyone promised you. And One is the promise of Allah. “Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.” (16:97) (If you have benefited from this article, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others) http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/
  13. Many scholars and other individuals have tried to talk and advice about Exams. To be honest, I didn't find them that helpful. This is by far the best and most applicable advice I have ever heard. Even if you are not studying for exams, the speech talked about patience which was great insight. (If you have benefited from this, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others) http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/studying-exams-and-patience-short-beautiful-lecture/
  14. This is a very well written blog by Sister Margari Aziza. The Link is at the bottom. I just read that today’s college students are more narcissistic than their earlier counterparts. It reminds me of a talk that Dr. Robert Frager, a noted pyschologist and Sufi, gave last year about the diseases of the heart. During that lecture, I remember a deep fear sinking into the pit of my stomach. It was not for me, even though I have a whole bunch of personal work, but for a friend that I no longer speak to. Frager mentioned that a person with a diseased heart hates criticism even when the criticism is to help them actualize the person they are truly meant to be. Frager also stated that this type of person is afraid of intimacy and therefore cannot get close anyone. After hearing this talk, I really wanted to be there for my friend. I really wanted to have a real conversation about what I learned. But it never happened. Which is best because I probably would have been attacked regardless of my intentions. It makes me sad, because I truly believe in that person and believe that they can make a world of difference if they stopped surrounding themselves by people who only gave them adulation and ignored their shortcomings. We are often able to see the flaws in others, but rarely in ourselves. Yet I am one of those hyper self-critical people; I am aware of my flaws, but find it difficult to overcome them. I know narcissism when I see it, because I’ve developed antibodies for it. And one only has such antibodies if they have been afflicted with this pathology at one point or another. I state this humbly. There is no benefit in me being self-righteous. Narcissism use their looks to get what they want, is able to plan and work towards goals successfully, loves themself, optimistic, sparkling, achiever, self promoting, self assured, success driven, thinks they can charm anyone, ambitious, elegant, thinks they are better looking than most people (which they may or may not be), believes that they are special, more a leader than a follower, believes that other people are envious of them, loves to win awards, fits in most places, seductive, purposeful, believes in success through appearances, assertive, goal oriented, would love to have buildings and monuments named after them, believes they deserve all the good things they have, likes to be popular Narcissism – Global Advanced Trait Descriptions NARCISSISM (n. sing.) A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one’s self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one’s gratification, dominance and ambition. Narcissism is named after the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus who was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. In punishment of his cruelty, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, he pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name to this very day. WHAT IS NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)? The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has been recognized as a seperate mental health disorder in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM) in 1980. Its diagnostic criteria and their interpretation have undergone a major revision in the DSM III-R (1987) and were substantially revamped in the DSM IV in 1994. The European ICD-10 basically contains identical language. An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met: Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements) Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion Firmaly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions) Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation -or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply). Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations Is “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted. The language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from: American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Sam Vaknin. (1999). Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited, first edition. Prague and Skopje: Narcissus Publication. (“Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited” http://www.geocities.com/vaksam/faq1.html ) More Data About Pathological Narcissists Most narcissists (75%) are men. NPD (=the Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is one of a “family” of personality disorders (formerly known as “Cluster B”). Other members: Borderline PD, Antisocial PD and Histrionic PD. NPD is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders (“co-morbidity”) – or with substance abuse, or impulsive and reckless behaviours (“dual diagnosis”). NPD is new (1980) mental health category in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM). There is only scant research regarding narcissism. But what there is has not demonstrated any ethnic, social, cultural, economic, genetic, or professional predilection to NPD. It is estimated that 0.7-1% of the general population suffer from NPD. Pathological narcissism was first described in detail by Freud. Other major contributors are: Klein, Horney, Kohut, Kernberg, Millon, Roningstam, Gunderson, Hare. The onset of narcissism is in infancy, childhood and early adolescence. It is commonly attributed to childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers. There is a whole range of narcissistic reactions – from the mild, reactive and transient to the permanent personality disorder. Narcissists are either “Cerebral” (derive their narcissistic supply from their intelligence or academic achievements) – or “Somatic” (derive their narcissistic supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and “conquests”). Narcissists are either “Classic” – see definition below – or they are “Compensatory”, or “Inverted” – see definitions here: “The Inverted Narcissist” – http://www.geocities.com/vaksam/faq66.html NPD is treated in talk therapy (psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioural). The prognosis for an adult narcissist is poor, though his adaptation to life and to others can improve with treatment. Medication is applied to side-effects and behaviours (such as mood or affect disorders and obsession-compulsion) – usually with some success. The narcissistic individuals that I know usually have a hubris whirling around them. There are many narcissists who are attractive, and use their looks and charm to manipulate others. Then there many narcissists that are highly attractive individuals, not in the physical sense, but have alluring qualities that appeal to others in a non-sexual way. They draw people to them because they are purpose driven and charismatic. They wouldn’t want to live their lives any other way. They like to be in the center of action–making things happen. Some of us get sucked in because we want to help, but they are selling a pipe dream that is corrupted by their own misguidance. Sometimes we can navigate their social pathologies and get something done, but often their larger than life egos get in the way. Mental illness and diseases of the heart are unlike other diseases. You can’t contract them. But I have never seen a narcissist cured. It is especially tragic to see Muslim narcissists because our traditions have diagnosed this disease and have a treatment to help treat those who are afflicted. Some narcissists are humbled, but it is usually in old age, maybe after a stroke or something, but that is after leaving a whole path of destruction in their wake. They cause a world of hurt and have little empathy for those they leave damaged. They don’t recognize that they are sick, nor do the people who are loyal to them and condone their behavior. Those who are hurt by narcissists need to recognize that the perpetrators are truly sick individuals. Instead of being angry, we should feel sorry for them and their self delusions. It is important for all of us to understand this disorder because narcissists are usually quick to place themselves in positions of leadership or power in our communities. Al-Bukhari and Muslim have reported on the authority ofAbdullah ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Truly, Allah will not take away knowledge by snatching it away from people, but by taking away the lives of the people of knowledge one by one until none of them survive. Then the people will adopt ignorant ones as their leaders. They will be asked to deliver judgements and they will give them without knowledge, with the result that they will go astray and lead others astray.” When ‘Ubadah ibn as-Samit was asked about this hadith he said: If you want, I will tell you what the highest knowledge is, which raises people in rank: it is humility.” He said this because there are two types of knowledge. The first produces its fruit in the heart. It is knowledge of Allah, the Exalted – His Names, His Attributes, and His Acts – which commands fear, respect, exaltation, love, supplication and reliance on Him. this is the beneficial type of knowledge. As ibn Mas’ud said: “they will recite the Qur’an, but it will not go beyond their throats. The Qur’an is only beneficial when it reaches the heart and is firmly planted in it.” Some communities are able to isolate the narcissists. And other narcissists display behavior that is so transgressive and destructive that everyone has enough sense not to place them in positions of power. Still narcissists often have a circle of followers. They may be the dissenters in a community, raising a ruckus for whatever reason. Sometimes, they are productive and can be useful vehicles for doing good works. Though if not reigned in, they can reverse all those positive gains. Often, those that are under direct influence of these sick individuals are left hurt and feel manipulated. Sometimes the machinations of a narcissist can have ruinous effects and be detrimental to the mental stability of those who try to help them and their causes. In their pain, the victims develop other diseases of the heart:depression and despair or jealousy and envy. Umar bin Al-Khattab, Radi-Allahu unhu, narrates: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions. And every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” It is important that we recognize the diseases of the heart, such as narcissism, as they manifest themselves in our communities. Narcissists often warp shari’ah to suit their own purposes by bending the rules and apply them according to their whims. They participate in events or do certain things (frequenting the masjid, giving talks, hosting events, leading ‘movements’) to win adulation and respect from members of the community as opposed to doing it from the goodness of their own hearts. They do shocking things just to be in the center of attention. And because they are our brothers and sisters, we often have a high toleration for them. It is important to recognize narcissism as a disease and not try to make sense of the absurdities and inconsistencies that exist in their lives. We can’t rationalize the irrational. We’ll drive ourselves crazy trying to make sense of their madness. Instead, we just have to chalk it up to the disease and then move on. I am writing this because I believe each one of us has been affected by someone who is narcissitic. We may have loved ones, a father, brother, son, mother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, husband, or wife, who is one. If you don’t know of one, then you should really assess your own behavior and see if you have narcissistic traits. Perhaps you should do some serious work on purifying your heart and curing yourself of this debilitating disease. So, whether you are Sunni, Shi’i, Sufi, or Salafi, and even for those who are not Muslim, there is something that we can learn from tassawuf, purification of the heart. http://azizaizmargari.wordpress.com/2007/02/27/diseases-of-the-heart-narcissism/ http://sheikhonderun.wordpress.com/ (If you have benefited from this article, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others)
  15. This is a very well written blog by Sister Margari Aziza. The Link is at the bottom. What does it mean to have a healthy heart? It is a constant process, purifying the heart is a life-long process. Although there are increasing numbers of Muslim psychologists in America, I do not think our communities are well equipped to deal with common emotional and psychological problems that afflict havoc on the health of our hearts. I know a number of happy and well adjusted Muslim women, however, I know of American Muslims are suffering from depression and poor self-image. Many suffer in silence, ashamed to seek professional help. Many of us are taught to mistrust western approaches to emotional well-being and mental health. A lot of people read books, go to various talks, and listen to recorded lectures hoping to incorporate the lessons in classical texts. I have spoken with a number of women who have gone to Imams, Sheikhs, or scholars in search of answers and the main problem is accessibility. Often, they are given a quick fix, but not one works with them over a long period of time to begin the path of healing. Speakers and scholars provide certain tools, but often they do not know the particularities of a person’s past or problems. They may not know of the underlying problems that plague an individual. Since they do not speak to the person on a regular basis, they cannot help them go through the long process of working out the deeper issues. We are in a highly literate society, so we have access to books that for centuries were only in circulation among the scholarly elites (‘ulema, fuqaha, and government officials). Much of the Purification literature we read is based upon the writings of men in the 12th to 17th centuries. We turn to these important medieval texts that discuss diseases of the heart with little guidance. I know so many Muslims who feel overwhelmed after reading these texts. These texts deal with diseases of the heart within the context of getting to the hereafter or annihilating the ego. Little of the text deals with emotional pain that may even preclude someone from seeing beyond their immediate situation or the pain and baggage that may prevent them from letting go. A number of Muslims may even feel worse about themselves because these texts outline their clear shortcomings. But often these texts leave us feeling like “You can’t get there from here.” In fact, we should feel overwhelmed after reading how difficult it is to shed all the baggage and all the veils that prevent us from becoming who we are truly meant to be. Further, this literature reflects their worldviews, preoccupations, social norms, and cultural assumptions. Often, these scholars overlook the emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of women even during their time. While I still believe in the value of many of these classics, these texts do not offer the same types of services as a counselor or therapist. And many counselors or therapists are not Muslim and they may not be equipped holistically deal with the emotional, spiritual, and physical health of a Muslim. With little options, many people turn to reading books or listening to tapes about Purification of the Soul on their own. But it is not like the original sciences were meant to be self-help tools. In fact, students of Islamic sciences often traveled and studied directly under a teacher. They had very strong intimate relationships with their peers and teachers. Islamic knowledge was taught in a way that knowledge directly connected with praxis. Otherwise, knowledge of the nafs can also be destabilizing and it can be misused. I guess this is why I am skeptical of the self-help industry. I often reflect on the relationship between “Ilm an-Nafs” Psychology and Tasawwuf “purification of the Soul.” I believe that our traditions can be adapted to fit modern needs and social demand. We should work on emotional balance and well-being and mental health because in reality diseases of the heart undermine almost everything we do. These diseases cause fitna (discord between community members, conflict, and enmity), jealousy and envy, misguided behavior, corrupt leaders, and bad intentions behind our followers. For every community, there should be 10 counselors, psychiatrists, advisors, life-coaches, etc. I will begin with a discussion of insecurities and low self-image because it is a problem that faces many women. My last entry was on Narcissism and Pathological Narcisissm Disorder, a disorder that largely effects men. But Low-self esteem is something that effects women, so it is by no means limited to women. I found the characteristics of low self-esteem that you might look for: Characteristics of Genuinely Low Self Esteem 1. Social withdrawal 2. Anxiety and emotional turmoil 3. Lack of social skills and self confidence. 4. Depression and/or bouts of sadness 5. Less social conformity 6. Eating disorders 7. Inability to accept compliments 8. An Inability to see yourself ‘squarely’ – to be fair to yourself 9. Accentuating the negative 10. Exaggerated concern over what they imagine other people think 11. Self neglect 12. Treating yourself badly but NOT other people 13. Worrying whether you have treated others badly 14. Reluctance to take on challenges 15. Reluctance to trust your own opinion 16. Expect little out of life for yourself. Information from this site this website here. Another website, Self Esteem Awareness has an even more comprehensive list:Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem: 1. Feel and act like a “victim” 2. Judgmental of self and others 3. Break agreements, violate own standards 4. Cover, phony 5. Exaggerate, pretend, and lie 6. Self-deprecating, shameful, blaming, critical, 7. “Nice” person, approval-seeking, people pleaser 8. Negative attitude 9. Rationalize 10. Jealous/envious of others 11. Perfectionist 12. Dependencies, addictions, compulsive, self-Complacent, stagnant 13. Not liking the work one does 14. Leave tasks and relationships unfinished 15. Judge self-wordh by comparing to others, feel inferior 16. Doesn’t accept or give compliments 17. Excessive worry 18. Fearful of exploring “real self” 19. Shun new endeavors, fearing mistake or failure 20. Irrational responses, ruled by emotions 21. Lack of purpose in life 22. Feel inadequate to handle new situations 23. Feel resentful and “One down” when I lose 24. Vulnerable to others’ opinion, comment and attitudes Many sensitive people with become religious and dogmatic because they have low-self image. But insecurities and low-self image leads to other diseases of the heart (such as, ungratefulness, envy, backbiting, anger, resentment, and arrogance) which may not always be dealt with if the person covers themselves with the cloak of religiosity or superficial spirituality. Instead, the rituals and practices become a scaffolding, as opposed to become pillars and reinforcements for purifying the heart. I believe we can make our paths easier by getting to the root of the problem. Low self-esteem and insecurities are huge problems that prevent us from receiving any benefits from our relationships and good deeds. Why? Low self-esteem leads to backbiting, jealousy, and approval seeking and attention getting. Insecurities prevents a person from being truly intimate with other people. We don’t want to become close to someone because we truly love them, but because we seek their approval. Insecurities distort our intentions, an insecure person does something to please others, to find their value in other people. They do not do things for the sake of Allah. Umar bin Al-Khattab, Radi-Allahu unhu, narrates: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions. And every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” Insecurities affect how we view ourselves and others: we become competitive and constantly compare ourselves to others; sometimes we become judgmental in order to make ourselves feel superior; and other times we compare ourselves negatively to others and develop inferiority complexes. This leads to envy. Volume 2, Book 24, Number 490: Narrated Ibn Masud: I heard the Prophet saying, “There is no envy except in two: a person whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allah has given wisdom (i.e. religious knowledge) and he gives his decisions accordingly and teaches it to the others.” If you find that you have fallen into these traps, do not beat yourself up. Instead, make tawba (go through the process of forgiveness) for whatever actions that have corrupted your intentions or wrong deeds that came from your insecurity. There are some simple steps and one is to let go of the pain and hurt and to take a step on the right path. Purifying the heart is about changing how you think in order to change how you act. Changing how you act and how you think will influence your heart. Purifying your heart will connect you with you spirit. It is an uplifting and freeing experience. But the first thing you have to do is to take responsibility for your actions, and stop feeling like a victim and recognize that Allah is in control. You have to recognize that he enable you with the possibility to do good and wrong. 1. Ask Allah for forgiveness (You may have to go to someone you have hurt and ask them for forgiveness 2. Forgive others Remove yourself from the company of those who you have done wrong with. 3. Have faith that Allah has forgiven you (this means that you need to forgive yourself and move on.) If the person doesn’t accept your forgiveness, then they are in bad shape themselves. Once you have begun the process of tawba, maybe it is time to think about the roots of your low self-esteem. There can be outside forces and internal. Sometimes, people are highly sensitive and internalize criticism. Sometimes you don’t see our self worth because other people projected their hurt and pain on you. Friends, classmates, associates, and strangers may have taken cheap shots at you and you may take their criticism to heart. Sometimes we are taught to think about things in distorted ways. Recognize how your distorted thinking leads to low self esteem. Other times, we look for other people to validate us, as opposed to turning inwards and turning to Allah to make sure we are doing the right thing. Other people, and the broader society, cannot define your self-worth. That is the Allah’s job. If you feel like you need other people’s praise and approval, you will find that desire insatiable. People cannot truly fill the void of low-self esteem and insecurities. Self-esteem comes from having confidence in yourself and knowing that you are a worthy individual. Each individual has intrinsic worth and beauty because that is how the Creator ordained it. I would ask any individual: Is it worth having low-self esteem and insecurities? Why waste all your good actions, hard work, and efforts? Also, why spend your life undermining your efforts? You should be tired of beating yourself up, getting into dumb situations, and not creating boundaries and getting hurt. If you realize that you have low self-esteem, whether you have known all along, took the test and found out, or realized that some of the traits in this blog fit you, I think you should seek a counselor, psychiatrist, spiritual advisor, Sheikh, or imam who can help you work out your issues. Seek someone who will help you work through your issues over time. You deserve it. Let go of the pain and doubts and discover our self-worth. Once you let go of your insecurities, you will then discover how easy it is to love and be loved. ######"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_azizaizmargari.wordpress(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2007/03/29/diseases-of-the-heart-low-self-esteem-and-insecurities/"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_azizaizmargari.wordpress(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2007/03/29/diseases-of-the-heart-low-self-esteem-and-insecurities/[/url] ######"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_sheikhonderun.wordpress(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_sheikhonderun.wordpress(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/[/url] (If you have benefited from this article, raise your hands and pray for me and send it to others)